I reached the semi-finals of Wimbledon in 2004, won the Davis Cup and an Olympic medal… now I'm a Wall Street banker | The Sun

HAVING to retire aged just 26 would cause many tennis stars to go off the rails.

But this former Wimbledon semi-finalist has gone on to thrive since being forced to hang up his racket.

After reaching a career high of No7 in the world aged just 22, he would have dreamed of going on to conquer the sport.

But due to recurring mononucleosis, he had to call it quits in 2011.

A successful second career beckoned, however, with the brainy former Davis Cup champion transitioning to a career in banking.

Aged 37, he now works on Wall Street – and in 2021 brought in one of Croatia's largest ever investments.


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It's fair to say Mario Ancic is doing well for himself.

Ancic told Croatian TV show 'U svom filmu' in 2021: "The journey is interesting, it was often difficult, my life changed from the very core.

"As an athlete if you want to be the best, and that was my goal, you have to focus as much as possible and give to it.

"If someone had told me ten years ago that I would later be at an investment bank, working on Wall Street, that I would be working in an investment fund, I would have told him to apply to psychiatry somewhere because in my world then the only thing was: the next grand slam, next Olympics, next tournament, preparations.

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"How I can be better? Conversations with coaches.

"Sport was my life until I was 23 when there was an injury, an illness and then one transformation into something completely different begins.

"A few years where I was more in hospitals and rehabilitation centres than on the battlefield for what I did. Until the very end, that is, towards the very end, I believed that this possibility of recovery and a return to the top level for which I worked was possible.

"However, at some point you have to be honest with yourself and tell yourself it’s time to move on to something else."

Ancic won the Davis Cup with Croatia in 2005, having defeated home favourite Tim Henman on the way to the Wimbledon semis the year before.

He beat Roger Federer in SW19 in 2002, and also twice conquered a young Rafael Nadal on the tour.

On the horrifying illness that caused him to retire, Ancic added: "When you operate, like Ivica Kostelic did when he was among the top Croatian athletes, when you operate on the knee or back, you start training straight away.

"You are going through serious pain, but you are aware of it and you are going through it, so you are training. Not much has changed in your life.

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"If you used to train for eight hours on the court, fitness, gym, whatever, then you can’t play tennis at the moment, but you’re in the gym again, doing rehabilitation, swimming, everything you can.

"However, when you have a health problem, you can’t do anything. You have to be careful, listen to the doctors. When I was 23 and when I was eight hours a day in training, matches, either tennis or fitness training, I was forced to lie in bed for a year."

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